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Astronomers detail the deformation of galaxies as they collide

17 May 2019, 08:30 UTC
Astronomers detail the deformation of galaxies as they collide
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NGC 4485 has been involved in a dramatic gravitational interplay with its larger galactic neighbour NGC 4490 – out of frame to the bottom right in this image. Image credit: ESA/NASA/Hubble
The NASA/ESA Hubble Space Telescope has taken a new look at the spectacular irregular galaxy NGC 4485, which has been warped and wound by its larger galactic neighbour. The gravity of the second galaxy has disrupted the ordered collection of stars, gas and dust, giving rise to an erratic region of newborn, hot, blue stars and chaotic clumps and streams of dust and gas.
The irregular galaxy NGC 4485 has been involved in a dramatic gravitational interplay with its larger galactic neighbour NGC 4490 — out of frame to the bottom right in the image. Found about 30 million light years away in the constellation of Canes Venatici (the Hunting Dogs), the strange result of these interacting galaxies has resulted in an entry in the Atlas of Peculiar galaxies: Arp 269.
Having already made their closest approach, NGC 4485 and NGC 4490 are now moving away from each other, vastly altered from their original states. Still engaged in a destructive yet creative dance, the gravitational force between them continues ...

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